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Joker vs. Clown: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Joker is a character known for cunning, often humorous or mischievous behavior; Clown is a performer primarily in circuses, known for exaggerated comedy and entertaining acts.
Joker vs. Clown

Key Differences

The term "Joker" often denotes a person who is witty or playful, typically using clever humor or intelligence to amuse others. In contrast, a "Clown" is associated with physical comedy, characterized by exaggerated actions, costumes, and makeup, primarily for entertainment in circuses or children's parties.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
Jokers are generally viewed as tricksters or clever characters, sometimes with a dark or sarcastic undertone. Clowns, however, are traditionally seen as joyful, silly figures, designed to elicit laughter through slapstick humor and visual gags.
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Nov 15, 2023
Culturally, the Joker often symbolizes unpredictability and a subversive approach to societal norms. Clowns, conversely, are symbols of joy and innocence, often employed to provide lighthearted entertainment and to amuse audiences of all ages.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
In literature and media, a Joker character is often complex, sometimes portraying a villain or an anti-hero with a deep backstory. Clowns are typically straightforward comedic characters, their purpose clear-cut: to bring humor and fun.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
The Joker, in many narratives, is used as a metaphor for chaos or anarchy, often challenging the status quo. Clowns, on the other hand, are generally apolitical, serving as figures of pure entertainment without deeper societal commentary.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Role

Trickster, often with an intelligent or dark twist.
Joyful entertainer, often in circuses or parties.
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Symbolism

Anarchy, cleverness, sometimes malevolence.
Innocence, joy, physical comedy.
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Narrative Role

Often complex, can be a villain or anti-hero.
Typically simple, focused on humor.
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Typical Behavior

Witty, cunning, sometimes sinister.
Exaggerated, slapstick, lighthearted.
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Audience

Usually adults, due to complex themes.
All ages, especially children.
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Joker and Clown Definitions

Joker

Trickster
The Joker pulled a clever prank, leaving everyone in stitches.
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Nov 15, 2023

Clown

Circus Performer
The clown's acrobatic stunts were breathtaking.
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Nov 15, 2023

Joker

Wild Card
He was the Joker of the group, always full of surprises.
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Nov 15, 2023

Clown

Entertainer
The clown juggled skillfully, delighting the children.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Joker

Witty Character
The Joker's witty remarks always lightened the mood.
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Nov 15, 2023
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Clown

Silly Figure
The clown's goofy dance was hilariously entertaining.
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Joker

Mysterious Figure
The Joker in the tale was an enigmatic, elusive character.
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Nov 15, 2023

Clown

A buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

One who tells or plays jokes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

One who jokes and plays tricks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

An insolent person who seeks to make a show of cleverness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A coarse, rude, vulgar person; a boor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

(Informal) An annoying or inept person
Some joker is blocking my driveway.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A peasant; a rustic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

(Games) A playing card, usually printed with a picture of a jester, used in certain games as the highest-ranking card or as a wild card.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To behave like a buffoon or jester.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A clause that is included in a legislative bill or a contract in order to render the bill or contract inoperative or oppressive in some respect while appearing to be innocuous until the harm has been done.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To perform as a buffoon or jester.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

An unforeseen but important difficulty, fact, or circumstance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To krump, especially in clown makeup.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A deceptive means of getting the better of someone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A slapstick performance artist often associated with a circus and usually characterized by bright, oversized clothing, a red nose, face paint, and a brightly colored wig.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A person who makes jokes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A person who acts in a silly fashion.
He was regarded as the clown of the school, always playing pranks.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

(slang) A funny person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A stupid or badly-behaved person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A jester.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

(obsolete) A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an illbred person; a boor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A playing card that features a picture of a joker (that is, a jester) and that may be used as a wild card in some card games.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

(obsolete) One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl; a yokel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

An unspecified, vaguely disreputable person.
Some joker keeps throwing eggs at my windows.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A clownfish.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A man.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To act in a silly or playful fashion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A clause in a contract that undermines its apparent provisions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To ridicule.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

(military) A friendly unit that acts as a suspected hostile unit in a military excercise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an ill-bred person; a boor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

One who makes jokes or jests.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl.
The clown, the child of nature, without guile.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

See Best bower, under 2d Bower.
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

The fool or buffoon in a play, circus, etc.
The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o'the sere.
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

An extra card usually included in a deck of playing cards, having the same design as the others on the back, but on the face having a picture of a jester. It is not included in the deck used in most games, but in certain games may be included and then takes on a special value, such as the highest-valued card, or a wild card.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

To act as a clown; - with it.
Beshrew me, he clowns it properly indeed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A clause placed in a document, such as a contract or a piece of legislation, not itself appearing significant, but in a subtle way substantially changing the effect of the document.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A rude or vulgar fool
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

Any fact or condition which is unknown or not apparent, which reverses an apparently advantageous position; a kicker.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

A person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A person; a fellow; a chap; - usually used in a mildly disparaging sense; as, who's the joker who left the ice cream on the table?.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

Act as or like a clown
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Oct 19, 2023

Joker

A person who enjoys telling or playing jokes
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Oct 19, 2023

Clown

Funny Character
At the party, the clown's antics had everyone laughing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Joker

A person who does something thoughtless or annoying;
Some joker is blocking the driveway
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Clown

Costumed Comedian
Dressed in vibrant colors, the clown was the life of the party.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Joker

Villain
In the story, the Joker was the cunning antagonist.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can Jokers be serious characters?

Yes, Jokers can be complex and serious, sometimes portrayed as villains or anti-heroes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is the Joker a universal archetype?

The Joker archetype is widespread, appearing in various cultures and narratives.
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What is the role of a Clown in entertainment?

Clowns primarily serve as entertainers, often in circuses, using physical comedy to amuse audiences.
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Nov 15, 2023

What differentiates a Joker from a Clown in literature?

Jokers are often more nuanced and complex, while clowns are straightforward comedic characters.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can Clowns be part of serious narratives?

Yes, clowns can appear in serious narratives, often providing contrast or exploring deeper themes.
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Nov 15, 2023

Is the Joker always a solitary character?

Not necessarily; Jokers can be part of a group but often stand out due to their unique traits.
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Nov 15, 2023

Is the Joker typically a comedic character?

The Joker can be comedic, but often with a clever, sometimes dark twist.
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Nov 15, 2023

What does a Joker symbolize?

A Joker often symbolizes unpredictability and cleverness, sometimes with a darker undertone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Are Clowns always associated with circuses?

While commonly found in circuses, clowns also perform at parties, events, and in various forms of media.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Do Clowns have a historical background?

Yes, clowns have a rich history, evolving from court jesters and theatrical figures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Do Clowns have a specific style of dress?

Yes, clowns typically wear exaggerated, colorful costumes and makeup.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

What type of humor is associated with Clowns?

Clowns are known for slapstick, visual gags, and lighthearted humor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Can a Joker be a positive character?

Yes, some Joker characters are portrayed positively, using their wit for good.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can the Joker character be a hero?

In some narratives, the Joker can be portrayed as a flawed hero or anti-hero.
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Nov 15, 2023

Are Clowns always funny?

While intended to be funny, clowns can be perceived differently by different audiences.
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Nov 15, 2023

What is the global impact of Clowns and Jokers?

Both have made significant cultural impacts, symbolizing various aspects of humor, trickery, and human nature.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can the Joker role be played by anyone?

The Joker role can be varied and is not limited to a specific type of actor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Are Clowns considered timeless characters?

Clowns are seen as timeless, adapting their acts to fit contemporary audiences.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

What emotional tone does a Joker bring to a story?

Jokers can bring a range of tones, from lighthearted to dark and suspenseful.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is clowning an art form?

Yes, clowning is considered an art form, requiring skill in physical comedy and performance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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